Two Maine restaurants are on the 2016 list of “America’s Essential Restaurants” put together annually the national food blog

Eventide Oyster Co. on Middle Street in Portland is on the blog’s “National 38” list of “the 38 most essential restaurants in the nation.” The wide-ranging list includes both fine dining and casual restaurants. Alinea in Chicago and Oleana in Cambridge, Massachusetts, made the cut, as did Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York and Bern’s Steak House in Tampa, Florida.

The Palace Diner in Biddeford made the blog’s “Superlative List,” which names the best restaurants in the country for certain dishes. The Palace Diner was cited for its breakfast sandwich, a menu item that locals regularly rave about online. The nation’s best taco, apparently, is the marlin taco served at Mariscos Nine Seas in San Diego, and the best fried chicken is at Big Jones in Chicago.

The lists are compiled by Bill Addison, Eater’s restaurant editor, who traveled nearly 100,000 miles last year to eat at restaurants in 48 cities. Addison writes that Eventide Oyster Co. “combines foods from Maine and ‘from away’ in dazzling mash-ups: Pemaquid oysters glossed with kimchi ice, a classic New England clam bake alongside green curry lobster stew, peekytoe crab rolls next to pickled-watermelon-topped fried chicken buns.”

Addison said that Palace Diner chefs Chad Conley and Gregory Mitchell “have recalibrated greasy spoon staples – their bacon and breakfast sausage are exceptional, their eggs cooked to golden precision – without losing the everyman appeal.”

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